Weather

Harrison County schools to dismiss early, Flash flood warning issued for parts of Coast

Forecasters expect severe weather to continue today and some parts of the Coast could receive up to 10 inches of rain this week.

Here’s everything you need to know about today’s weather.

Latest Forecast

The National Weather Service predicts an additional rainfall of 4 to 7 inches of rain is expected in Harrison County throughout Thursday night and into Friday morning, although isolated higher amounts will be possible. This will bring storm total rainfall into the 7 to 10 inch range, Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said.

Lacy’s office at 2 p.m. Thursday raised the threat level of the storm from moderate to moderate to high.

Rises on area rivers can be expected and flood warnings have already been issued for several points. A flash flood warning has been re-issued for southwestern Harrison County and southeastern Hancock County until 4:15 p.m.

A flash flood watch is in effect through Saturday morning.

A watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

A flood warning continues for the Biloxi River. The Biloxi River is expected to crest at 13 feet late Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS is forecasting torrential rainfall and localized flooding in Harrison and Hancock counties.

Diamondhead is seeing heavy rainfall as the nearly stationary storm front is stalled in that area. The National Weather Service said at 11 a.m. that up to 5 inches had fallen, according to radar.

Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible in the warned area.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall Thursday through Saturday, with the area of greatest concern along and south of Interstate 10, Lacy said.

“We are highly confident that heavy rain will impact the area, leading to at least an isolated flash flooding threat. We are less confident in the exact locations of the highest rainfall and the upper bounds of the rainfall totals,” he said.

A weak area of low pressure near the Coast will continue to drift slowly northwestward across the region through the weekend. Tropical moisture around this low will be quite capable of producing heavy rainfall on and off through Saturday. Ponding of waters in low lying and poorly drained areas as well as elevated levels on rivers and streams are expected, NWS said.

The NWS also said that frequent lightning strikes are a concern during the flash flood watch period. Gusts of wind up to 40 mph are also a possibility. Some of the thunderstorms could be severe at times.

Lacy said the next update of the storms progress will come Friday morning.

Traffic

The Mississippi Department of Transportation reported flooding in the east and westbound lanes of U.S. 90 between South Lang Avenue and Marcie Drive in Pass Christian. Sections of Beatline Road in Long Beach are underwater, and 28th Street running from Gulfport to Long Beach also has sporadic flooding on the road. Water has also been reported over Railroad Street from the western edge of Gulfport to Edmund Drive in Long Beach.

In Pascagoula, streets were flooding temporarily as the weather dumped 3 inches of rain in the city since midnight Wednesday. In Jackson County, director of emergency management Earl Etheridge said, “Streets fill up, the rain goes away, and streets go down.”

The Ocean Springs Public Works Department wrestled with a collapsed drain pipe off Reilly Road in the east part of the city.

There was some ponding on roadways in Pascagoula early Thursday morning.

In Moss Point, north of Interstate 10, areas that suffered river flooding earlier this year were relatively clear.

Flooding

Some locations in Gulfport, Biloxi, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, St. Martin, D’Iberville, Lyman, Kiln, Saucier and Latimer have experienced flooding.

The Salvation Army Cold Weather Shelter in Gulfport opened due to rainy weather Thursday at 2 p.m.

Do not drive cars through flooded areas. Remember, two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including pickups.

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors have requested a state of emergency from Gov. Phil Bryant.

School closings

The Harrison County School District let school out early due to flooding.

All elementary and middle schools were let out at 1 p.m. and all high schools in the district were let out at 2 p.m.

Pascagoula did allow students and staff to come to school in jeans and spirit shirts, rather than uniforms, because of the weather.

The Gulfport, Biloxi, Jackson County, Long Beach and Pascagoula-Gautier school districts kept normal school hours. No word yet on possible school closings Friday.

Other closings

None reported.

Power outages

None reported.

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